The greatest wheelchair tennis player of all time, this is the sixth time Esther Vergeer has been nominated for the Laureus Disability Award. Esther was a winner of the Award in 2002 and 2008 and was also nominated in 2006, 2007 and 2011. One of the greatest Paralympians in history, Esther Vergeer has not lost a singles wheelchair tennis match in almost nine years. Her last defeat was in January 2003. In her career, she has won 39 Grand Slam titles and three Paralympic singles gold medals and two gold medals and one silver medal in the doubles.
Esther was paralysed from the waist down in 1990 after undergoing surgery for a spinal defect and brain haemorrhage. She found she had an aptitude for wheelchair tennis and basketball, eventually choosing to concentrate on tennis from the time she was 17.